UNCG Magazine

‘Relationship building’ with alumna Saundretta James

Saundretta James ’08, 12 MEd appeared on the cover of UNCG Magazine’s campaign issue in 2006 as the Students First campaign was having its public launch. The article followed her on a day in her life as a student, going to classes, meeting with professors, studying, and hanging out with friends. As a driven, first-generation student – her name then was Saundretta Caldwell – her global engagement was spotlighted, as well as the comprehensive support she received from her UNCG community. Then, in 2008, she appeared on the cover again for a special tribute issue for Chancellor Sullivan, who’d announced her retirement.

Now, 14 years later, she is as passionate as ever for advocacy and community engagement – but on a higher level. She is Director of Advocacy for the UN Association of Chicago and also Director of Public Affairs for the UN Women Chicago Chapter. Also, something very close to her heart: She is a speaker on child loss, sharing her own experience to help others.

Saundretta is an entrepreneur as well as an advocate. The owner, seamstress, and designer for her apparel business Africana Fashion, she is also the full-time homeschool mom of a daughter and a son. (Her second UNCG degree, the master’s in education, has proven essential.) And, always as a true Spartan, her wedding was at Alumni House!

As she explains, what connects her work is the focus on meaningful relationships. And, “at UNCG I developed meaningful relationships with people. I still have those relationships. UNCG is big on good relationships.”

By Vivian Campbell ’20
Contributed visual


More Where Are They Now Stories…

  • Marine veteran Jordan McClendon

    Jordan McClendon was only a few classes away from finishing his media studies degree at UNCG when the pandemic hit in 2020. “I had an internship and was working for Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association, when everything just stopped.” But in the middle of the summer, he looked for opportunity and found it, starting a small […]

    Read more

  • More than a meme! Grace Cindric ’16

    More than a meme! Grace Cindric ’16

    She’s never been a fan of the spotlight, but she admitted it was fun to laugh at the memes that were made from the viral photograph of her working as a nurse early in the COVID pandemic. She’s now working as a travel nurse in hospital emergency departments around the country. She completed an assignment […]

    Read more

  • With UNCG Guarantee, Tyshea Lewis comes full circle

    With UNCG Guarantee, Tyshea Lewis comes full circle

    For Tyshea Lewis ’13, ’16 MEd, coming from a small town to the UNCG campus – or any campus – was intimidating. But in the UNCG Guarantee Scholars program, she found community and opportunity as a student. Now, she is leading the program, giving back to current UNCG students and helping them find that same […]

    Read more

  • Ernest Dollar

    Ernest Dollar

    Ernest Dollar ’93 continues to tell the story of our state capital as the director of the City of Raleigh Museum. He tells us, “One of my life goals takes place (in April 2022): I have a book coming out on the end of the Civil War in North Carolina.” He has also been very […]

    Read more

  • UNCG hoops star Lucy Mason now an academic coach

    UNCG hoops star Lucy Mason now an academic coach

    Lucy Mason ’15/16 was featured in the spring 2016 issue for her then-record basketball points total and for her research on African-American figures on campus. Since then she has pursued sports further, and taken up leadership and guidance positions with a master’s in sports business. While studying for her masters, at Temple University, she also […]

    Read more

  • Vivid visuals of Kyle Webster

    Vivid visuals of Kyle Webster

    Kyle Webster ’99 has served as illustrator for several issues of UNCG Magazine, including two covers. And he has furthered the artist’s age-old tradition of making his own tools: “I ended up building my career on bringing my training in natural media into the digital world,” he says. After starting a business developing digital brushes […]

    Read more

UNC Greensboro logo